Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer Wrap-Up

We have had an incredibly busy end to our summer!  Fair, camping, family visiting, visiting family, etc.  It has been a lot of fun yet we are excited to see it coming to a close.  Time to settle into new routines and school days soon.

Here is a quick look at many of our adventures.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to School Planning

It is that time of year when many are either in the midst of planning or already beginning school for the fall.  I love this time of year as I consider goals and ideas for myself and my children, spiritually, academically, and physically. 

This year my mom blessed me with a day of planning alone at her new cabin.  It was a welcome relief to plan and organize without constant interruption.  I still have a ways to go before we will be completely ready for our upcoming year, but it is great getting headed in that direction. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More Life

Springtime is so full of all kinds of life!  We have been excitedly adding animals to our humble farm and decided to add a few more.  Goats and ducks have been added to the menagerie.  Already we love having them here.  What a joy seeing God's greatness in the design of each of these creatures!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chicken Tractor

When my husband first mentioned a chicken tractor, over 5 years ago, I laughed.  It sounded so funny!  After much research and discovery I have come to appreciate the idea of a mobile chicken coop that helps knock down weeds and bugs, fertilizes, protects the chickens and prevents any one area from being inundated with nitrogen.

 I studied many designs and decided on one I wanted to build for my chickens.  The picture above is my own chicken tractor in its Beta form.  I hope to finish it by adding a gravity-fed waterer and I still need to finish out the nesting area. 

So far the chickens love it! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


A dream of ours is finally being realized!  It's true.  We have wanted to have a small acreage that we could work as a hobby farm since we were married (that will be 14 years this summer).  Finally this desire is becoming a reality.  Though the land is small it is just enough for us to start pursuing some of the crazy plans we have been dreaming of for so many years.

The beginnings...

Pigs for kids to show at fair through 4-H (as well as one for us to put in the freezer)

Chickens for farm fresh eggs

Geodesic dome greenhouse to set up an aquaponics veggie garden

More to come as we learn and grow in new ways.  Praising God for this provision!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kitchen Chores Chart

Life is settling down and routines have returned to expected norms, albeit with holiday interruptions.  As the head chef in the kitchen most meals I have found myself becoming more and more disgruntled with the lack of assistance.  Time to revisit our Kitchen Duties chart.

This simple chart was something I created a little over a year ago and used for a period of time.  It is a huge help!  My assistants, ages 4-9, know exactly what is expected of them and who is responsible for which assignment.  In the past they actually looked forward to being assigned the different roles.

Each position is given a title and duties that would loosely be performed by those positions in any restaurant or dining venue.  This is a quick rundown of the general descriptions of each.  (You can view the specific tasks we perform in our home on the photo of my chores chart.  We use clothespins with the kids' names to keep track of resposibilities.)

Sous Chef- The second in command.  Sous is French for "under", and the sous chef works directly under the command of the head chef often directing a portion of the kitchen activity and food prep.

Host/Hostess- The personal representation of the overall hospitality of the staff of the restaurant. It is the job of the hostess to ensure that the dinner seating is prepared and guests are made comfortable.

Maitre D'- Also considered a host/hostess position.  This term comes from the French maître d’hôtel which means "master of the hotel".  This role is defined much like the host/hostess role above and serves in a similar capacity.

(Omni)bus Boy/Girl- Generally the clean-up crew.  This originally came from the term Omnibus Boy meaning "providing many things at once" boy.  It is expected for the Busboy/girl to be available to perform many needed tasks with their primary focus being clearing dishes and garbage.  

In our home these tasks are performed during the evening meal and rotated daily.  This allows my children to work each position and with each other in the various roles. There are two children in the kitchen with me at any given time - sous chef & host; maitre d' & busboy- based on the ways we have divided the various roles.  While this still involves a certain amount of assistance from the head chef, the help is greatly appreciated and the skills learned will last a lifetime (I hope =). 

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